Fun Facts Friday: Dylan Thomas

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Dylan Thomas (27 October, 1914 – 9 November, 1953) was a Welsh writer who is mainly known as a poet, including the famous “Do not go gentle into that good night”.

Books by Dylan Thomas*
Books by Dylan Thomas*

1)      Born in Swansea, Wales as Dylan Marlais Thomas, he was an average student until the age of 16, when he left school to become a journalist.

2)      The poet’s father was an teacher and called his son Dylan after the character Dylan ail Don, a character in The Mabinogion (12th – 13th century prose stories written in Middle Welsh).

3)      During his time as a freelance journalist, Mr. Thomas wrote 200 poems (1930 – 1934). Of his 90 published poems, half were from that time.

4)      He published many of his works while still in his teens. In 1934, the publication of “Light breaks where no sun shines” granted him literary attention.

5)      Dylan Thomas married Caitlin Macnamara in 1937. Their relationship, defined and fueled by alcoholism, was mutually destructive.

6)      Mr. Thomas was not able to join the British Army during World War II due to health issues., he fought to be classified as “grade III”, meaning he’ll be of the last ones to be called for service. He did however write scripts for the BBC helping the war effort.

7)      Even though he was a popular poet during his life time, Mr. Thomas found it difficult to make a living as a writer and supplemented his income with radio appearances and reading tours.

8)      In the 1950s, after gaining a certain amount of fame from his readings, Mr. Thomas traveled to the United States.

9)      During his time in the US, his behavior and drinking worsened and, as one might expect, created a legend.

10)   On his fourth trip to the US, the poet fell ill and never recovered. He died in 1953 – 39 years old.

Books by Dylan Thomas*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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